This Week in First Church:
– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice
– Tuesday, 7:00
p.m. – Bible study, at the church
– Wednesday, 6:30
p.m. – Finance & Maintenance Committee meeting
– Saturday March 16, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast
– Sunday, 17 March – Deadline for
submissions for March Newsletter
– Sunday, 7 April – Communion Sunday
Year – We are now in the Season of
Lent, the fourth of the six seasons of the Christian Year. Lent is a season of preparation for Easter,
and in that respect, is similar to Advent, the season of preparation for
Christmas. Lent is a time for us to give
increased attention to our struggle against our sinful impulses and the sinful
pressures of the world around us, and to work for renewal in our relationship
with God. Historically, Lent was a time
when the disciplines of fasting, giving to the poor, and prayer were emphasized
(see Matthew 6.1-18). In some
denominations, the practice of fasting has evolved into the practice of “giving
something up for Lent”.
of Lent originated in the early centuries of the church as a period in which
new converts (called “catechumens”, mostly adults) were given their final
instruction in the Christian faith, in preparation for their baptism at
Easter. By the Middle Ages, Lent had
evolved into a solemn season of penitence and fasting, in imitation of Jesus’
40 days of fasting and being tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4.1-13 and parallels). The length of Lent was therefore set at 40 days (not including Sundays, however, since Sunday, the
weekly celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, could not be a day of fasting). So Lent always begins on a Wednesday, 6½ weeks before
Easter: Ash Wednesday. Since the date of Easter changes from year to
year, the date of Ash Wednesday also changes.
week of Lent is called Holy Week,
and during that week we commemorate the events of Jesus’ “Passion” — his
suffering and death in Jerusalem.
color for Lent is purple, signifying
preparation and penitence. The color for
Holy Week is red, symbolizing Jesus’
blood, shed on the cross as a sacrifice for human sin.
– Submissions for the March issue of the Newsletter should be given or sent to
Lisa Sneesby by next Sunday, the 17th (email@example.com). We aim to have the Newsletter ready in time
for the 24th — two weeks prior to our next Communion Sunday on the 7th of April.